Volkswagen: Bigger diesels and small petrols now implicated

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Volkswagen has admitted that internal investigations have found “inconsistencies” with CO₂ levels, which could include up to 800,000 cars.

The affected automobiles are VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles with 1.4-, 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines, as well as the 1.4-liter ACT petrol engine used in the Polo with cylinder on demand.

The discrepancies mean that cars could have misrepresented CO₂ emissions and fuel consumption and that actual figures are around 10-15% higher.

The company has already set aside US$12bn to cover the cost of modifying existing cars and estimates that the new admission could cost up to US$2.2bn to fix.

“From the very start I have pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events,” said VW CEO Matthias Mueller. “We will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process, but it is our only alternative. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth. That is the basis for the fundamental realignment that Volkswagen needs.”

The latest developments come after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked Volkswagen this week to clarify the presence of previously undisclosed software on V6 diesels sold in Porsche SUVs. The US government agency said that during testing of 2014-16 3-liter V6 diesel models from VW, Audi and Porsche, they found software designed to turn off emissions systems when the cars were driving on the road and not in the laboratory.

This latest news could have a personal impact on Mueller, who previously headed up Porsche. VW itself has insisted that there was no illegal software in its large-displacement diesels: “Volkswagen wishes to emphasize that no software has been installed in the 3-liter V6 diesel power units to alter emissions characteristics in a forbidden manner.”

The company’s Supervisory Board has issued a statement on the latest revelations: “The Supervisory Board is deeply concerned by the discovery of irregularities found when determining CO₂ levels for the type approval of Volkswagen Group vehicles.

“These irregularities came to light during the clarification process which, as announced, is being relentlessly and comprehensively pursued. The Supervisory Board and the special committee set up for the purpose of clarification will meet in the very near future to consult on further measures and consequences.”

November 4, 2015

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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